[Sca-cooks] Coffyn pan?

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Thu Jan 17 12:20:25 PST 2008

On Jan 17, 2008, at 6:50 AM, Nancy Kiel wrote:

> Can you give some examples of free-standing pies made with a crust  
> of something other than hot-water-and-lard?

Several examples of something other than hot-water-and-lard? No. Maybe  
a couple: I believe there's a reference to a free-standing tart in Ein  
Buoch Von Guter Spise whose crust is made with flour and egg yolks  
only (and that basic formula is repeated in numerous other sources,  
although not in detail, unfortunately).

I vaguely recall a reference to a short dough made with chopped  
lardons (but not hot water, IIRC); this would be more like an English  
suet crust for steamed puddings; I think that's included in some  
edition of Le Viandier (Pichon edition???). Unfortunately, it seems  
like most medieval pie recipes don't really talk about the pastry,  
other than to tell you to make one, and then fill it with X.

Later in the SCA period, there's a piecrust recipe in, I think, A Newe  
Proper Boke of Cookery, and I don't recall details and don't have it  
handy, but I don't recall it being made with any hot liquid. I think  
it may call for butter and yolks. I think Digby's cheesecake crust  
calls for yolks and cream.

Gervase Markham is the only one I can think of that routinely calls  
for hot water to be used, along with butter or sweet seame, basically  
the fat skimmed off the top of boiled, fatty meats, to make stiff rye  
crusts for pies to be kept a long time. He also talks about crust  
height, so we have to assume falling and cracking crusts would be a  
concern, so that suggests at least a good chance we're talking about a  
free-standing pastry shell.

Now, that is quite sketchy at best, but how many examples can you  
think of that actually call for lard (or even other fat) melted with  
boiling water and added, while still hot, to flour, which is what I'd  
define as a hot-water crust?


> Nancy Kiel
> nancy_kiel at hotmail.com
> Never tease a weasel!
> This is very good advice.
> For the weasel will not like it
> And teasing isn't nice.
>> Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2008 08:17:50 -0500
>> From: adamantius1 at verizon.net
>> To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org
>> Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Coffyn pan?
>> On Jan 16, 2008, at 6:53 AM, Nancy Kiel wrote:
>>> I always assumed these types of pies were made without pans, using a
>>> thick stand-alone crust (sometimes made with rye flour) that was not
>>> intended to be eaten.  That way the cook could make any shape he
>>> wanted, such as a fish or a lobster.  Robert May, although post
>>> period (1685), has a number of pie designs throughout his cookbook
>>> that would have to be made free-hand.
>> One problem to be dealt with is the fact that it's popular in the SCA
>> to assume that free-standing pies and tarts are made with what  
>> amounts
>> to a modern-ish hot-water-and-lard, or equivalent, pastry, when the
>> relatively few pie crust recipes available don't really establish  
>> this
>> as a given.
>> It'd be interesting to use malleability versus strength (the ability,
>> say, to hold a filling or a liquid without leaking, breaking, or
>> collapsing before, during, or after baking) as a test for various
>> dough types, such as rye not-very-short-crust, wheat crust with  
>> cream,
>> a hot-water dough of wheat, wheat and egg yolks, etc.
>> Of course, one thing to look for would be the ability to tolerate,  
>> and
>> hold through baking, molded or otherwise fine detail.
>> Over this past weekend I had occasion to make a hot-water-and-lard
>> dough (steak, mushroom, and egg, no kidneys on hand I wasn't using),
>> and in spite of using AP flour, boiling liquid, lard, _and_ letting  
>> it
>> rest before baking, I was surprised to note the amount of what one
>> might call glutinous distortion of my design in baking.
>> Not that it was a big deal; it wasn't the Palace at Versailles or
>> anything, just some hand-fluting and a few cutouts to mark the
>> location of some marrowbones inside. But after having taken all those
>> steps to prevent it from changing shape while baking, I was a little
>> surprised. It'd be interesting to see which of our available pie  
>> dough
>> recipes works the best, and under which conditions.
>> Adamantius
>> _______________________________________________
>> Sca-cooks mailing list
>> Sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org
>> http://lists.ansteorra.org/listinfo.cgi/sca-cooks-ansteorra.org
> _________________________________________________________________
> Climb to the top of the charts!  Play the word scramble challenge  
> with star power.
> http://club.live.com/star_shuffle.aspx?icid=starshuffle_wlmailtextlink_jan
> _______________________________________________
> Sca-cooks mailing list
> Sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org
> http://lists.ansteorra.org/listinfo.cgi/sca-cooks-ansteorra.org

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list